Story of the World Vol. 2 2nd Edition: Middle Ages (Paperback)
Like its predecessor, the Activity Book corresponds chapter-by-chapter with the text from the Story of the World readings, and the sections and activities are well-organized and easy to implement. Each chapter begins with review questions for the book. Narration exercises are also included, so that the child may write or dictate to you a summary of what they learned. A list of books for additional reading follows, each with a concise summary and an approximate reading level to help you find those most appropriate for your child’s ability and interest. Corresponding literature, consisting of more "story-like" volumes such as cultural tales and myths are also featured to liven up your history reading, lending a little more interest to those lovers of fiction. An excellent range of activities follow the reading lists, including map work, a coloring page, and projects, which include art, crafts, games, and other more "involved" activities. An abundance of opportunities for "beyond-the-book" learning about here, but as the author mentioned in the activity book for Vol. 1, you should not feel pressured to read every book and complete every activity - history studied in this manner should be a fun and enjoyable journey for all involved, not an endless checklist of items you "have to" complete to pass a test. These courses lend themselves very well to family study, and a lot of the activities would be much more enjoyable with at least a couple siblings or friends. Fortunately, Susan Wise Bauer has anticipated this, and has denoted chosen activities with a "C" to highlight its use as a good co-op or classroom activity. All in all, this looks like an very well-rounded, extremely enjoyable, and solidly chronological approach to history
The text is available spiral-bound in the first edition or in paperback or hardcover in the revised version. the Activity Book is a bound paperback and is the revised version.
The name BiblioPlan is synonymous with classical chronological world history but through years of tweaking and improving, what is available now is a full-bodied, full-color curriculum rather than a mere lesson-plan framework (its original format). Comprehensive and thorough while providing ease of use and minimum teacher prep, BiblioPlan allows students of all ages to work on the same time periods at the same time at their own level. There is flexibility. You can still use just the framework (Family Guide) or you can add some or all of the components. You can take a general approach and incorporate multiple ages at once or you can use material that targets particular grade levels. Older children can help younger children and children of all ages will be making memories as they work together. Biblioplan puts you in the driver's seat with full controls.
BiblioPlan Family Guides
provide the structural framework for the program - a full year's worth of history and literature readings and the Family Guide is necessary for either approach. There are four Guides, one for each of the four classical (chronological) time periods Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern. This is the core of the whole program (and once WAS the whole program). Designed by a group of homeschooling moms, these Guides provide 34 weekly spreadsheets; each a comprehensive lesson plan and annotated reading lists for each grade level. With a goal of integrating quality historical literature with biblical and secular history, these moms put together an easy-to-follow plan covering the historical topic (Classtime), a Psalm study, References and Resources for textual information about the topic, Literature Selections of the Week (for grades K-2, 3+, 5+ and 8+), a Family Read Aloud suggestion, Writing Ideas, Optional Fiction & free online resources, movies, and suggested Activities. Introductory information in each Guide includes the usual "how to find books" and "how to use the plan" information as well as the book lists for both the scheduled and the optional literature.
If it sounds like the Family Guides might be all you need you would be correct. They're comprehensive and thorough; well-constructed plans. You could complete four years (plus four more if you wanted) of interesting history, absorbing literature, and engaging activity possibilities using just these Guides. If you go this route, you will need to use the frequently-referenced "spine resources." These include Story of the World, Mystery of History, The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, or History of US and a number of others.
However, there is an alternative route. If you like to have perfectly coordinated, quality material at your fingertips rather than scrambling for it then you can incorporate one or more of the following BiblioPlan text components to use alongside the Family Guide.
BiblioPlan Text Components: Remember the Days, Consider the Years and Companions
- Remember the Days - textbooks written specifically for Grades K-6 are available for Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern.
- Consider the Years - textbook written specifically for Grades 7-12 is available for Ancient. It is a reworking of the older Companions and part of the 2nd edition material now available for Ancient.
- Companions are currently available for Medieval (two-book set), Early Modern (two-book set), and Modern. These are 1st edition texts and are being replaced with the Consider the Year text. For Ancients the Companions are only compatible with the 2012 edition of Cool History.
With options for each time period, these are full-color historical textbooks that provide textual information (world history, U.S. history, church history, and geography) in a narrative prose style interspersed with all sorts of intriguing factual and cultural anecdotes. They are color-coordinated so you know instantly if you're reading history text (black & white) or about people and special events or biblical quotes (various colored backgrounds). These are books which beg to be pored over. As an example, in random pages from the Medieval Companion, there is a section on Muslim food laws and their rituals for newborns, a description of a tughra (Ottoman sultans signature) with gorgeous, artistic examples and a Turkish paper decorating technique ebru. In the Giants of the Faith section is a biographical sketch of Saint George and the Dragon which continues onto the next page and includes a large, glorious artwork reproduction of the same.
There is a pattern to the information provided for each chapter (each time period book has 34 chapters - one for each week): Geography Focus, History Focus, Fascinating Facts, Mystifying Myths, Interesting Individuals, Fascinating Foods, Church History Focus, Critical Concepts, and Giants of the Faith. Just in case there's any doubt, Remember the Days, Consider the Years, and the Companions as well as all the BiblioPlan materials have a consistent biblical and Christian worldview. These books provide all the necessary textual information for Classtime and greatly reduce, or even eliminate, the need for any outside historical reference books or spines. That being said, some may still choose to use the suggested spine readings in order to provide even more historical perspective and textual information.
BiblioPlan Cool History
provides weekly assignment sheets at four different grade level groupings:
- Littles (K-2)
- Middles (2-6)
- Upper Middles (6-8)
- Advanced (8-12)
It's pretty easy to surmise that the goal of these is to allow a family to challengingly study the same time period and the same topics but at their own distinct levels. This is where you find your students’ work and in upper levels their assessments also. There are subtle grade-appropriate variations in the levels but these pages include reading assignments and questions taken from the Remember the Days, Consider the Years, and Companion readings.
- The Littles book in the older edition (Medieval, Early Modern, Modern) has suggested reading assignments and questions from Remember the Days; in the 2nd edition (Ancients) these reading assignments are found in the Family Guide. Also included are fun hands-on activities and Globe Fun (introductory map activities). The “Giants of the Faith” section provides biblical figures associated with the times and places of study. These are consumable, colored workbooks.
- The Middles book has questions from the readings and Giants of the Faith suggestions and adds Challenge Questions plus an Optional Bonus Question or Activity. These are consumable, colored workbooks.
- Upper Middles has Questions from the readings, Challenge Questions, Optional Bonus Question or Activity and includes periodic (about every six weeks) exams. These are consumable, colored workbooks.
- Advanced assignment sheets have assorted questions (fill in the blank, short answers, short essays) all taken from Consider the Years or the Companions as well as research essays (outside of the text readings). Also included are periodic (about every six weeks) exams. These are consumable, black and white workbooks.
BiblioPlan Hands On Maps
provides one or two full-color maps each week that correspond to the week's lesson content. Instructions for the maps are printed directly on the map. While students may need to gather a little helpful information from a world map and/or Remember the Days, Consider the Years, or the Companions, students will be able to complete the maps at their level more-or-less on their own. The same set of maps is included in both books
- The Middles maps set has suggestions for K-2, 3+, and 5+ students. These maps includes some prompts and partial information that makes them easier to complete. These maps and activities correlate with the Remember the Days as well as the Companion text for the K-8 grade material.
- The Advanced maps set includes a geography scope and sequence as well as a Challenge activity for each of the maps. Six exams for this level are included in the Answer Key pdf. These maps and activities correlate only with the Consider the Years text for Ancients and the Companion for Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern.
PDF Exams and Answer Keys
If you're concerned about answers to all the Cool History questions or the exams, they do exist but they aren't in the Cool History books. An Answer Key pdf is sent from our office via email after your order has been processed. For Upper Middles and Advanced Ancients, blank Exams and Exam Answers are emailed after purchase. For Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern blank exams and answers are found within the large Answer Key pdf that is sent.
The Maps Answer Key pdf is sent from our office via email as well after your order has been processed. Ancients, once again, has a separate pdf while Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern maps answers are found in the larger Cool History Answer Key pdf that is sent.
BiblioPlan Timelines & Figures
are well-crafted supplements with one distinct advantage over many other timelines - they're in color! The spiral-bound books can be used "as is" or the pages removed and the timeline mounted on a wall or the pages three-hole punched and the timeline placed into a binder which would allow your student to create an entire timeline in one place. Lots of flexibility here. The timeline consists of one or more colored strips (color varies with the time period) plus dated notes on particular events. The student cuts out the graphics and pictures (located in the back of the book) and inserts them in the appropriate place.
- The Ancient Timeline includes two timelines: one for Biblical history and one for world history. The timeline is set-up as facing page timelines. Biblical history on one side and World History on the facing page.
- The Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation Timeline includes two timelines one for church history and one for "regular" history. The timeline is set-up as facing page timelines. Medieval on one side and Church History on the facing page.
- The Early America and the World Timeline and the Modern America and the World Timeline each feature facing pages; one for the Americas and one for the World.
As mentioned earlier, the Timeline Figures are mostly in color (some 19th and 20th century figures are prints of original black and white photos) and are eye-catching. Figures include portraits, artifacts, geographical features, monuments and buildings, photos or drawings of events, and much more.
BiblioPlan Craft Books
provide over two hundred activities that correlate with the Family Guides. These are cultural crafts, food, and fun referenced in the Cool History assignment sheets (three to five per week). The books are impressive - a well-illustrated, well-explained variety of crafts and projects. A few require materials from other sources but most include directions and full-color pictures. Here's a random selection from one book: Porcelain Painting (buy a kit), Hold a Japanese Tea Ceremony (get details from internet), Make a Kharbhooja Sharbat Drink (directions), Make a Flying Dragon Head (directions), Make a Chinese Dragon (directions), Make a Yurt (directions), Make a Chinese Cricket Cage (directions). Patterns, where needed, are provided in the back of the book. This book is fully integrated with the BiblioPlan program but could also be used as a supplement to another world history study.
The BiblioPlan Coloring Books
provide coloring sheets to accompany the lessons. These are referenced in the Family Guides. Utilizing the talents of present and former homeschooled students, multiple artists have produced a variety of styles and details in the drawings making them suitable for younger and older students. There is at least two and often three pages per week. Reproducible for families.
The BiblioPlan Family Discussion Guide
is for families who want some help in broadening their history studies into thoughtful family discussions. These Guides provide discussion starters that will help you guide your students into a better understanding of the connections between secular history and their Christian faith. One of the advantages of the Discussion Guide is that they allow you to lead discussions without having to study everything in the text books yourself.
The new edition (available for Ancients) has received a major facelift and shift in scope and sequence. Detailed out with Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric questions for each appropriate age level, there are also geography and general review questions for each week of study. Consider the Years specific questions are clearly identified.
BiblioPlan Cool History Classic
is a republished version of an older edition of the Cool History books. In this version (no grade level grouping designations), questions are based on the textual content of Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World rather than on the BiblioPlan Texts. This provides student work (no test or assessments), for all grade levels, if you choose the BiblioPlan path of using just the Family Guide and Story of The World approach.
BiblioPlan Hands-On Notebooking
These are only found as digital eBook purchases from the publisher. Biblioplan.net offers digital notebooking options to add to your studies and are geared to grade levels. Giants of the Faith adds Bible characters’ study and composition writing to their work. There is a Giants of the Faith notebook for each year. Countries of the World has a different country focus for each year of study. The U.S. States and Presidents is for year three and four studies and breaks the presidents into their appropriate era of service.
In conclusion, if your whole family is ready to dig into world history and you want a Christian perspective that provides flexibility, an excellent road map, comprehensive textual information, and colorful, engaging reinforcement and enrichment possibilities, then look no further than the new, reconstructed BiblioPlan. ~ Janice & Rebecca
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